Heritage Bank has over the years, proven her mettle to the world and doubting thomases that running financial institution with several other branches spreading across the Africa can be a jolly ride of full of success stories. Although confronted with myriad of challenges, major one being bad press. Nevertheless, her sense of commitment to her customers and sincerity of purpose which has been her hallmark since its inception became the springboard to overcoming these challenges.
One of the amazing initiatives that has distinguished Heritage Bank from the other banks is her strong commitment to meet the numerous demands from various customers particularly those who run Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). As a matter of fact Heritage Bank is deeply commited to raising another set of Dangotes, Otedolas and other giant entrepreneurs and business moguls in Nigeria through this SMEs Scheme.
In the words of Mr. Ifie Sekibo who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, “we are strongly committed to build young and budding entrepreneurs. Today, we have the Next Titans, where we are looking at the next set of entreprenuers we are going to build. The winner would have his business established and we fund it. Meanwhile, the 16 of them that reached final would also be supported. If we can make just one of them a Dangote. They are the SMEs. We have a youth scheme where we have about 1,500 customers on the NYSC scheme. On the National Youth Council Joint Programmer, we have over 50,000 customers”.
On the procedures involve in securing financial support for SMEs, he alluded that “On my SME platform, I have another 100,000 customers. It is also the basis for my agency banking, my retail banking and SMEs’ banking. We didn’t hide that feeling when we said we would help SMEs into a funnel where if we have 50 of them, after two or three years, let’s have one or two of them that made it to the stock exchange. We are strong as a financial institution, we have very good shareholders’ fund, N65 billion in shareholders’ funds, we are profitable and we would remain profitable. Customers’ deposits are safe and there is nothing wrong with the bank. We meet every obligation. We are a service company in the business of banking. The customer is priority and customer safety influences our decision. We may be young, but we have a large heart and we are destined for great things”.